Adam S. Olsen- Washington, D.C.
November 4, 2021

House Democrats are aiming to vote on their social spending package (TEXT) later Thursday, with a Friday vote on the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill, as they race to break an impasse on President Joe Biden’s stalled domestic agenda. Tax-increase provisions in House Democrats’ latest version of their social spending package would raise nearly $1.5 trillion over 10 years according to analysis released Thursday from the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT).  JCT’s score does not include revenue raised by providing the IRS more money for enforcement, or savings from drug pricing changes. The Treasury Department said that after taking into account the IRS and drug-pricing provisions, the bill would include about $2.2 trillion in revenue-raisers. Treasury estimated that the IRS investments would raise $400 billion, and said that the prescription drug provisions would produce about $250 billion in savings.  JCT estimates that the corporate and international tax provisions in the bill would raise about $814 billion. These provisions include a minimum tax on the profits of large corporations, an excise tax on stock buybacks, and changes to the international tax provisions in Republicans’ 2017 tax law.

Democratic leadership added back a paid-leave program that had previously fallen out of the bill and including a measure sharply raising the $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction.  The House plan would raise the $10,000 cap on the state and local deduction to $72,500, starting in tax year 2021. It would also extend that higher cap through 2031, beyond its scheduled expiration after 2025. That feature means that the higher taxes in future years would pay for the short-term tax cut, at least in congressional budgeting terms.  House Democrats also added new protections for immigrants in the country illegally to the bill, proposing to shield the immigrants from deportation for five years and provide a five-year, renewable work authorization. Some Hispanic lawmakers are seeking to include a pathway to citizenship in the legislation. Previous immigration proposals have run into difficulty with the Senate’s procedural rules.  The paid-leave plan, which will cost roughly $200 billion, calls for four weeks of parental, sick or caregiving leave, shorter than the 12 weeks Democrats had initially hoped to include in the package. Under the program, the government would provide Americans a share of their wages while they take leave.

The Biden administration said on Thursday that large companies have until January 4th to ensure that their workforces are fully vaccinated under a sweeping new coronavirus health measure that will cover 84 million private sector workers.  The plan was first announced in September by President Biden, who directed the Labor Department to invoke its emergency powers over the safety of workplaces to require businesses with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations for all employees. Workers who refuse to get vaccinated must undergo weekly testing.  Also on Thursday, the administration unveiled new emergency regulations for health care workers, including those at nursing homes caring for elderly and sick residents who are at high risk for infection. All 17 million workers at health care facilities receiving either Medicare or Medicaid funding must be vaccinated by January 4th.

White House FACT SHEET

Background Press Call on OSHA and CMS Rules

Statement by President Joe Biden on Vaccination Requirements

For today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Michael Connor to be an Assistant Secretary of the Army and the nomination of Robert Luis Santos, of Texas, to be Director of the Census for a term expiring December 31, 2026.

The House will complete work on H.R. 3992 – Protect Older Job Applicants Act of 2021 and well as consider eight bills under suspension of the Rules.  As stated above, the House may take up consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3684 – Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Adam S. Olsen, Washington, D.C.